That Will Rogan and Bob Linder have been close friends and collaborators for more than a decade is immediately evident in Hear the Wind Sing, their first two-person exhibition. The work is diverse, but so entwined that it could easily be mistaken for the product of one mind. Both Rogan and Linder, who shared studio space while attending the San Francisco Art Institute in the late '90s, make art with a prankster's sense of humor and a child's ready wonderment. In lo-fi videos and photography, they also eschew professional production values, harking back to punk's DIY aesthetic. Hear the Wind Sing (named after Haruki Murakami's first novel) is a fitting title for an exhibition so feather-light and prone to gusts of unexpected beauty.
It's Linder who provides the show's darker, more complex half. In "Make Some Noise," an image of a mushroom cloud is flipped on its side and overlaid with rainbow coloration. In the same location in the adjacent room, a video called "Transmission" echoes it: Footage of Joy Division performing their single of the same name is buried under the spectral color bars of the Emergency Broadcasting System. With Joy Division, Linder conjures the incendiary spirit of post-punk, thereby conflating revolution with destruction. It's a tangle of signifiers every bit as messy as the scene of physical annihilation washed in a warm-and-fuzzy rainbow in "Make Some Noise."
Rogan, on the other hand, is more direct. His lush and unpretentious new photographs are affecting in their restraint: a pair of stumps decorated with bright red, eye-like reflectors; a blue plastic cup frozen in a block of ice; and a mysterious collection of colored milk jug caps strewn across a patch of dried lawn. All taken in his hometown in Colorado, these photographs are almost exclusively concerned with documenting. There's no staging or construction. It's an idea reinforced in a series of covers of the magicians' magazine M-U-M, in which Rogan has erased the illusionist pictured on the front of each issue. As a ghostly apparition releases a bird on one cover, for example, Rogan denies the presence of the magician and, consequently, any illusory sleight of hand in the creative act.